Next week is Fall Break here at the Jerx. No new posts. Regular posting resumes on the 21st.
Also, on the 21st (or at some point before then) supporters should expect the Fall edition of the X-Comm Newsletter to show up in their email boxes. I’m not exactly sure when it will be sent out, but definitely by that Monday. Just sit and wait for it to arrive, Great-Pumpkin-style.
(“Great-Pumpkin-style” is also my preferred sexual position.)
Is there any magic company more pathetic than Conjuring Arts? Always hopping on the newest trends to turn a quick buck. If some 14-year-old drops a nickel, you can be sure Conjuring Arts will be chasing after it.
It’s almost sad. “What are kids talking about these days? …. Duhhh…. well… yeah… that’s what our next magic product was totally going to be about anyway!” Suuuurrrreeee.
How sad was that instagram post of Bill Kalush doing the Floss Dance to Despacito? Despacito? More like just plain desperate.
Whenever I get an email from them I think, “Gee, let’s see what book they just rushed to press in order to capitalize on whatever flavor-of-the-month trend is happening at the moment”
Did you all get that email about their latest money-grab?
“Hey all! It’s ya boy, Billy K. here to spill the tea about our new release. I know y’all be thirsty AF for the next book that’s going to blow up your Insta and your TikToks with them likes. Well it’s finally arrived! Yasssss, queen! You know you want it, and now it’s here: Volker Huber’s Bibliography of German Language Literature on Magic Arts Published Prior to 1945.”
Here’s something for you to play around with while this site is on Fall Break. It comes from reader, Kyle Everitt. It’s not the type of thing you would associate with this site, but it’s still something I find pretty interesting.
This routine is a liar/truth-teller type of routine. The spectator thinks of one of four objects. You ask them some questions and they either lie or tell the truth. In the end, you know which object they were thinking of. That sounds fairly standard, I know, but it differs from the routines of this nature that I’m familiar with, because the spectator can lie or tell the truth at whim. They don’t have to be consistent throughout all of the questions. Yet you can still tell them the object they’re thinking of and the questions they lied about.
I’m posting this here not because I think you’re likely to go out and perform it tomorrow, but because it’s a fascinating thing to try and wrap your head around. And maybe some of you will have some thoughts on ways to push the idea even further. I won’t, myself, because I really don’t even know how it works. But if you’re not dumb like I am, then you may have some further insight.
To play around with this without another person, grab a deck of cards (to act as a randomizer) and print out the pdf below. Shuffle the deck. Use the suit of the first card you turn over to select one of the objects for the “spectator” to think of. Then use red/black to decide whether the person lied or told the truth to each question.
Some quick thoughts of my own. (These won’t make a ton of sense until you familiarize yourself with the document.)
1. Kyle has chosen the four objects so the spectator can just think of them (they don’t need to actually have the objects, or for you to have them look at a specific picture or something like that). I think that’s an admirable goal, but I also think it may—at times—make the questioning a little less intuitively easy to answer. For example, if they think of the “antique chair” then they should answer “yes” when you ask, “Is it made of wood.” But what if the antique chair they think of is not made of wood? I would probably describe it as a “small, wooden chair from a child’s desk at an old schoolhouse,” or something, so they know the chair they’re meant to think of is wooden and liftable.
If this was something I’d do regularly, it would be with a photograph of four people, or four Guess Who cards, so the questions could be very straightforward. “Do they wear glasses?” Etc. This is similar to the first version Kyle sent me a couple months ago.
2. I would also inform the person that every question relates to multiple objects, so even if you knew they were lying or telling the truth for a specific question, it still wouldn’t tell you exactly what object they’re thinking of. This might not be obvious to them.
3. In the attached document he refers to this as an “anagram.” It’s not, but I don’t know what it’s called either. It’s a logic-based liar-truth-teller routine.
Anyway, if you have a mind for this sort of thing, check it out here. You may look at the document and think, “F-this. This looks like homework.” In which case, it’s probably not your scene. But if you like these sorts of concepts, I think you’ll find this really interesting. In actual performance, it’s pretty straightforward, for the spectator. Behind the scenes, there’s a shit-ton going on.
Thanks to Kyle for sending it my way and allowing me to share it with you.
Castration—surgical or chemical—is an expensive proposition. If you’re looking for an alternate way to maintain your young son’s virginity for as long as possible, might I recommend supporting Ellusionist’s newest Kickstarter and supplying him with LED, Light-up “Playing Cards” for Cardistry? Armed with these, you can be certain no one will see him as a potential sexual partner for at least a decade.
Is this a new low in stupidity? I don’t know. Their Fiddle Stick definitely set the standard in the “dumb garbage” department. But I think this might be worse. Sure, the Fiddle Stick was stupid. But at least it could serve as a complicated dildo with which to fuck yourself on those lonely Friday nights when you were—yet again—not invited to any high school parties. The clickety-clack racket of it sliding in and out of your rectum hopefully drowning out the memory of their mocking laughter when you proudly revealed your Fiddle Stick at the lunch table.
Now, just to be clear, the Fireflies aren’t playing cards. They’re four blocks, each about the size of a quarter of a deck, with which you can perform some cardistry-style maneuvers. Blockistry? I don’t know what you’d call it. But certainly not “cardistry,” because they aren’t playing cards.
As they write in their ad about cardistry:
The barrier to entry is very high. So we developed Fireflies to make it far, far easier.
Fireflies open the door to an easier & visually stunning branch of Cardistry, electric artistry. An obsession requiring you to control only 4 illuminated packets.
With a deck of playing cards, you've got 52 individual cards to worry about.
Fireflies reduce your learning curve by allowing you to focus on only 4 blocks at a time.
There seems to be some confusion here. The only thing that makes cardistry interesting is the fact that it’s difficult—that you’re artfully manipulating 52 separate objects that could fall apart at your fingertips at any moment. Consolidating the cards down to four blocks is moronic.
Yes, similar blocks have been used in the past… for practice. That’s where they belong. There’s nothing cool about carrying around specially made blocks with LED lights on them. It’s like buying spinner rims for training wheels.
I guess my main question is, why stop at four? Why not just whittle it down to one block that you toss in the air. “Wheeee! Wheee! I’m a Cardist!”
See you in ten days. Enjoy Autumn before it’s gone.